With the 25 May deadline for GDPR compliance looming, how are consumers responding to organisations’ efforts to get on the right side of regulations? Are they even aware these efforts are being made?

Databoxer commissioned a study of 1,000 Brits to get a more accurate picture of their opinions regarding how businesses use their personal information.

You can read the full report here, but if you’re just on your coffee break, here are our most interesting findings, as well as some tips for how you can respond to them.

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Trust is earned

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is making huge headlines at the moment, prompted by the discovery of 50 million Facebook accounts being compromised. Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress even as this piece is being written.

Sure enough, this media attention has translated into enormous public mistrust. 83% of those we surveyed said they do not trust social media companies with their data.

Brands don’t fare much better. Only 33% said they trust the businesses from which they buy products.

To put this in context, when it comes to their data, most people trust their hairdresser more than those whose job it is to handle and process personal information. 39% felt like Barbara from Curl Up & Dye was a safe pair of digital hands.

This attitude towards social media companies is fairly consistent across all age groups, but there’s some solace in that younger people, aged 16-25, trust brands and social media companies more than older generations do.

What can you do?

With confidence at a low ebb, the time to make a compelling case for the way you use data is now. The way you ask for consent forms a big part of your success, so make sure you’re being as transparent as possible.

It’s also worth reminding them that they can opt out of hearing from you at any time, and have their data permanently deleted.

Email still a winner

When it comes to how people hear from brands, it’s slightly better news for traditional marketers. Email is still a relatively low-friction way of contacting consumers. Only 26% said they hated being emailed without permission.

Unsolicited phone calls, meanwhile, are a huge no-no. 66% said they resented being called without permission, and this stat rises to 72% among over-55s.

All of this comes with one giant caveat, however. No matter how you break things down by method, 90% said they’re frustrated by any form of unsolicited marketing. This frustration was a major driving force behind the introduction of GDPR.

What can you do?

With email still a trusty tool in your arsenal, focus on making those interactions as satisfying as possible for your customers.

Post-GDPR email marketing will be all about doing more with less, squeezing as much engagement and conversion as possible from a reduced reach.

Make it worth their while

So, assuming at least a lukewarm reception for marketing communications, what are the best ways to make that communication as fruitful as possible? This one is really easy: free stuff.

65% said they’d give up their personal info in exchange for freebies and discounts. Among those aged 16-24, this is a whopping 91%.

On the other end of the scale, a measly 7% said they’d happily share their data in order to hear about related products and services.

Personalisation has long been lauded as a marketing elixir, but our stats don’t seem to support that. Only 17% would share their data in exchange for an improved, personalised experience. Whereas 15% would share data to make sure the info they get from brands is more relevant to them.

What can you do?

Bribing consumers with freebies might be an easy and statistically likely way to win consent, but it might not be an option for everyone. Even if you opt for this route, be careful you’re not just sticking a plaster over a deeper problem.

Think hard about the kind of objections people might have to giving you their data, and work on a sustainable strategy to overcome those objections.

Get ahead on compliance

So with consumer mistrust making GDPR necessary, which organisations are rising to the challenge? Short answer: not enough.

Considering that the average consumer is signed up to 12 marketing email lists, 49% of people are still yet to receive an opt-in request from anyone at all.

This suggests that brands are either ill-prepared for GDPR or waiting until the last moment to make their case for consent. Either case is risky.

However, if you’re holding back on your repermission campaign for fear of a frosty reception, you might not need to worry. Of those we surveyed, 63% opted in to brands using their data.

What can you do?

If your organisation is nervous about GDPR, don’t be. Showing how well you care for consumer data can translate to a big reputational boost.

Make your case now, before your consumers get flooded with repermission requests. If you already have a large database of contact details, you can use this time to make repermissioning your existing lists as successful as possible.

Remember also that you don’t have to ask for all their data straight away, that can be daunting. Get consent for what you need now to continue your marketing, then slowly build your database back up over time.

Conclusion: Prepare for GDPR with Databoxer

The sooner your organisation gets GDPR compliant, the sooner you secure peace of mind and the goodwill of your customers.

Let Databoxer help. This powerful compliance tool can be added to your site in minutes, and works seamlessly with major marketing platforms.

Download the report and see the difference for yourself.

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